Words by Adrienne Dyer. Photos by Jody Beck.
Life off the grid is anything but rustic in this renovated Metchosin home, perched high on 20 acres of mountaintop wilderness with panoramic views and front-door access to the coastal forest. Powered by solar panels and a generator, this three bedroom, 2,500-square-foot home required extensive upgrades to its electrical and heating systems — as well as some structural modifications — to refresh the home’s 1993 interior. Martin Scaia of Green Island Builders worked with IKAN (who installed the kitchen) and interior designer Brooke Hatfield of Brooke Hatfield Design to pull the architectural and design elements together.
“The house is situated to take advantage of the 180-degree views of the Olympics, Juan de Fuca Strait, and Sooke Basin,” says Scaia, who describes the home as a true example of West Coast modern design. “Each room has floor-to-ceiling windows; you feel perched on the cliffside, yet enclosed by the forest.”
That feeling is particularly impressive in the master bath, transformed by Hatfield from a drab space into something that feels like an outdoor spa in the woods. “We decided immediately that the view was so incredible, it would be great to incorporate that in the shower, as privacy was not an issue,” says Hatfield, who added contemporary finishes and a simple black, grey, and natural wood palette to emphasize the room’s focal point: the view.
In fact, the views take centre stage everywhere in the house. Original features, like the rough stone central fireplace and exposed wood beams, blend with new grey tile floors and walnut kitchen cabinets in textures and colours, reflecting the sweeping views of the landscape. And, like nature, the architecture itself is unpredictable. Irregular angles join the main living spaces in unexpected ways; a challenge Scaia overcame by running the floor tile in one continuous direction.
“The organizing element for the tile layout comes from the kitchen and fireplace; the floor tile runs parallel to these features,” says Scaia. “We did, however, transition the tiles in the main floor bedrooms to maintain the angles in these spaces. The effect was to bring attention to the geometry of the architecture.
Geometric shapes create a welcoming entrance where Hatfield replaced dated mirrored closets and, after a tricky bit of math, perfected the placement of each light. Some careful electrical work ensured that the lights would work with off-grid electricity.
Hatfield finished the entry with a dozen cascading pendants, sourced from Australia. It’s a spectacular way to transition from the wilderness on one side of the front door to the refined comfort just over the threshold.